Racism, protest, and violence in our community
The following was sent to the Lab community last week:
The events that have unfolded across our country related to the death of George Floyd, and other acts of racism, are devastating not only in and of themselves, but because they continue a pattern that is so destructive to our collective society.
Racism at any time is painful and wrong. Our society is facing even more stress and pain at a time when so many are already suffering losses, on so many levels, related to the pandemic. Across the United States, this moment truly feels catastrophic. For some, I am certain that this situation feels hopeless as history keeps repeating itself without improvement.
Many of us are processing pain, anger, and a range of other emotions because of the continued violence against Black people and other people of color in our country. It is in times like these that we often seek answers and comfort through religion, education, and our individual and communal friendships. Because this is written to our school community, I respectfully implore that all of us examine our own behaviors and seek understanding about how our words and actions may be contributing to a culture that promotes racism. As an organization, we must examine what structural changes are necessary to ensure equity and inclusion. Not to be overlooked, we must keep our focus on learning—of course following the mission of Lab—but also on learning from each other.
Part of the work for everyone connected to our school will be helping our children, our families, and our colleagues process what they are seeing and hearing. Our teachers and staff have been reaching out to members of our community in ways intended to be both instructive and comforting.
It is part of the University and Lab missions to create an environment in which everyone feels included and has a strong sense of belonging. We know that we still have work to do together as a school, and it is repeatedly apparent that our larger society has much work to do, as well. We all bring something to the table. Lab's table is set with issues and challenges that will define our children's future. It's time to come to the table and become a model where everyone can feel welcome and included.
David W. Magill
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